Briefly tell us about your book.
Currently Between Husbands is a memoir, spoiler alert: my marriage didn’t work out! I describe the book as ‘Bridget Jones meets Eat Pray Love, but with less yoga, more vodka and bigger undies.’
Two weeks before my fortieth birthday, the wheels fell off my marriage. The book shares how I got myself back on track. I delve into my past relationships, first kiss, first love and popping my cherry, as well as everything from meeting and falling in love with my husband (rugby league Immortal Andrew Johns), to navigating divorce, single life and solo parenting in my forties.
What inspired the idea behind this book?
When my marriage ended, I was the only one in my social circle in that situation – everyone else I knew was still happily married. I didn’t have anyone close to me that had been divorced and could talk me through what to expect. I remember walking around my local bookstore in the Northern Beaches and standing looking at the shelves wishing that Bridget Jones had gotten divorced. Originally from the UK, I had fallen in love with Helen Fielding’s books about Bridget. There were plenty of self-help books on the shelves, but I wanted to laugh and cry along with Bridget and to know there was hope, light and ideally a Mr Darcy type at the end of the tunnel.
Fast forward to five years after my marriage ended and I was able to write the book I had been looking for. I say that this isn’t a self-help book as I am still in therapy (and hopefully always will be – I am a huge advocate for working on yourself) but I do hope it helps some people. And already I have been contacted by readers who have said just that, which is magic feedback to receive.
Tell us about your background and what led you to writing this book
I spent 20 years working as a celebrity publicist for the likes of Sony Music, Channel Nine, the NRL and finally for the Fitzy & Wippa breakfast radio show in Sydney. I had always written media releases, but it was writing the kind of lengthy Facebook and Instagram posts that seemed to make people laugh that I loved the most.
While working on the breakfast show, I started a website where I shared my musings. It wasn’t long before I was having pieces I wrote appear on 9 Honey, Kidspot and Mamamia. I landed an online column with the sadly now defunct WHIMN site. I really wanted to write my book, so after squirrelling away some money (and after the fourth psychic I spoke to mentioned I’d write a book and it would be a bestseller) I ended up taking a leap of faith and leaving my job. I started a podcast that I cunningly called So I Quit My Day Job, where I documented my journey and spoke weekly to others who had changed their careers to follow their dreams.
The podcast brought my book to the attention of many publishers who wanted to know what this ‘book’ I had quit my day job to write was all about. I then danced around for 12 months trying to decide if the book should be fiction, but I finally landed on non-fiction and decided to go with the marvellous publisher Emma Nolan from Simon & Schuster.
The podcast continues, and now I have a second one with Nova called Not Another Parenting Podcast that I co-host with the amazing Sarah McGilvray – it is a very tongue in cheek take on parenting! But I’m also still writing: I was thrilled to land my first column in the Sunday Papers (everywhere except WA): Cathrine Mahoney’s ‘Tales from an oversharer’, which comes out monthly in Body+Soul.
How did you think of the title of the book?
Well, here is the thing: the book was originally called Actually, I Don’t Like Cricket or Blow Jobs – and I suck at both. However, the publishing team and I realised this might cause some awkward conversations for readers with young children, and so in stepped Currently Between Husbands to save any blushes. I am also aware that lots of women like cricket and didn’t want to put them off!
I am not a fan of the word ‘divorce’ and so when people ask if I am married, I always say I am currently between husbands. Now I can’t imagine the book being called anything else!
How did it feel to hold your book in your hand?
I asked the Simon & Schuster team if someone at the printer could take a video of my book on the conveyor belt. I was in getting a check-up with my doctor when the video was sent through. I burst into tears (and my lovely Doctor pre-ordered the book for his wife) – that was a magic moment and something to keep forever. I felt like it was a segment on Playschool on ‘How are books Made’ when I shared it on my social media.
A few weeks later, I finally met my book. The whole process was so much longer than a pregnancy, but it felt like my second born. And, of course, there were more tears!